NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Acquires Full Ownership of Sprout
New York, NY
Announced Wednesday, Nov. 13, the move signals that Comcast and NBCUniversal have expanded their commitment to kids and family entertainment.
The NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group today announced that it has increased its stake to full ownership of Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool network, following a buyout of its remaining partners at PBS and HIT Television Ventures, a company controlled by Apax Funds. Launched in 2005 as a joint venture among Comcast, PBS, Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment, Sprout will now be 100 percent owned and integrated within the Cable Entertainment Group as it deepens its commitment to building an overall kids and family entertainment strategy.
"We see enormous potential in Sprout, and we are committed to our investment in the kids and family arena," said Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. "This acquisition furthers our strategy to create and deliver the very best content across all of our audiences."
"Over the past eight years, Sprout has grown to become a leading preschool destination, reaching over 60 million homes and generating more than 1.5 billion on demand views," said Sandy Wax, President, Sprout. "We are committed to creating the highest quality series for our viewers, and the opportunity to help drive the company’s kids and family strategy will continue to fuel our content creation engine."
Sprout was launched as the first 24-hour destination for children 2-5 and their caregivers across all platforms - on TV, on demand and online. With programming structured to follow the day of the child from morning to night, Sprout features original programming, including The Chica Show and Noodle and Doodle, a library of gold standard series, including Caillou and Sesame Street, and U.S. exclusives including Lazytown and Tree Fu Tom. Sprout’s hosted programming blocks, including The Sunny Side Up Show and The Good Night Show, serve as tools to guide parents as they help children prepare for their days and nights with activities, user generated content, stories, and more.
The acquisition firmly positions Sprout, one of the most trusted family brands within the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio of channels, including USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, and the newly launched Esquire Network. Sprout’s unique connection with moms and young children will enrich and enhance the portfolio of industry leading networks.
Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers. Available in over 60 million homes, the 24-hour digital channel is the only network that follows the day of a preschooler from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive, interactive programming and original hosted daypart blocks that parents and kids share together. Viewers are encouraged to submit artwork, birthday wishes, videos and more through SproutOnline.com, which has received over five million viewer interactions to-date. Sprout’s VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over one billion views.